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Activities: Stories: The Little Drummer Boy

"The Little Drummer Boy"

Group Size: any
Ages: 5-adult
When or where to use activity: intergenerational service.
Materials needed: someone who can tap a cadence on the drum, song leader

 Theme: Sharing our gifts

1. Discuss with children what they would give away to someone else if they wanted to give something that was very special to them. You all have special gifts to give, and as you grow older, you may learn that sharing those gifts can give you one of the best kinds of feelings you can feel.

2. Tell story--revised version of drummer boy.

Once there was a boy who was the son of a shepherd. His family didn’t have much money, and so they were not able to afford to buy the toys. The boy spent his time helping his father tend to the sheep in the pastures, and there was not much time for playing.

One day the boy went with his father to the market in town. As they were passing by stands where people sold their goods, the boy spotted a beautiful drum, with silver rings around it and a gleaming white top. He stared at it a long time because he wanted it very badly, but he didn’t say anything because he knew that his family could not buy toys for him. His father paused, watching his son staring at the drum, and knew what he was thinking.

That night after the son had come in from the pastures helping with the sheep, he ate his supper and went up to get ready for bed. There on his bed sat the beautiful drum he had wanted so badly. His parents even let him bang on it a little bit before going to bed that night.

Starting the next day, and everyday thereafter, the little boy carried the drum with him and practiced on it as he went out to the pastures to help with the sheep. Both the sheep and shepherds grew accustomed to the drumming, and as the months and years passed, the boy became quite good at it. The shepherds looked forward to hearing his different cadences rolling down the hillside every morning.The boy carried his drum everywhere he went, and even slept with it beside him at night time.

One day a very poor family came looking for a place to stay. The young woman was pregnant and ready to have her baby any day. They needed shelter, but were not able to find any in the village below. So the boy’s family allowed them to stay in their stable. The young woman and her husband were very nice to the young boy, and they were so poor that he felt he wanted to give them something special in return for their kindness, but he had nothing to give them. One cold night, the boy awoke to a bluish light shining in his window. He got up and looked outside, where he saw the stars shining more brightly than he had ever seen before. They were shining so brightly that you could see billions of them in the sky, and they seemed to be closer than usual. The pastures below were lit up with the starlight so that you could see the sheep clearly even far away. It gave the boy a magical feeling, and he had to run outside to see better.

The shepherds watching the sheep were also gathered together looking up at the unusually bright starlight. As the boy was looking upward outside his house, he heard crying coming from the stable and saw the light of a lantern shining from within. He went to look inside, where he saw the mother and father holding a newborn baby close, trying to feed him his first meal. The boy suddenly knew what he wanted to give them.

He ran upstairs, got his drum, brought it down to the stable, and stepped inside. He said, “This drum is all I have that is mine, but I want to give it to your baby so that when he grows up, he can learn to play like I have.” The woman smiled at him, and said, “I’ve heard you play your drum, and I enjoy it so much that I want you to keep your drum and share the gift you have for playing instead.” The boy was very happy to hear that. He picked up his drum and began playing softly, so as not to frighten the baby.

[Drummer begins softly playing his drum by the piano at this point.]

3. Drummer keeps playing after the story ends.

Chidren in the choir should be told in advance to sit around Drummer and his drum. When the story ends, they rise, the piano begins playing, and Singer leads them in singing The Little Drummer Boy. After the first verse, the congregation joins them.

This should be printed in the program.:

Children’s Story: a revised version of The Little Drummer Boy As our story ends today, the children’s choir will sing the first verse of The Little Drummer Boy. The congregation will remain seated, but join the children’s choir on the second and third verses.

Children’s Choir: Come, they told me, pa-rum pum pum pum Our newborn king to see, pa-rum pum pum pum Our finest gifts to bring, pa-rum pum pum pum To lay before the king, pa-rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum So to honor him, pa-rum pum pum pum When we come.

Congregation Joins Children’s Choir: Ba-by Je-sus, pa-rum pum pum pum I am a poor boy too, pa-rum pum pum pum I have no gift to bring, pa-rum pum pum pum That’s fit to give a king, pa-rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum Shall I play for you, pa-rum pum pum pum On my drum? Mary nodded, pa-rum pum pum pum The ox and lamb kept time, pa-rum pum pum pum I played my drum for him, pa-rum pum pum pum I played my best for him, pa-rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum Then he smiled at me, pa-rum pum pum pum-- Me and my drum.


(Wednesday, January 20, 1999 at 13:35:43 (EST))

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